Football League Watch: Bristol City the surprise package?

Mark Scott
Tammy Abraham: Catching the eye at Bristol City

After a full football league fixture list in midweek, the results over the course of Tuesday and Wednesday night have led us nicely into this weekend’s games – which includes the likes of top of the table clashes, and teams that are still looking for that all important first win of the season.

Could Tammy Abraham be the key to Bristol City reaching the Premier League?

Bristol City’s start to the season may have surprised a few, but when you take a look at their squad, it’s easy to see why they are shaping up to be one of the form teams in the Championship.

One of the players key to the Robins strong start is Tammy Abraham. The 18-year-old striker on loan from Chelsea, who clearly has a huge future ahead of him, already has 10 goals in 13 games. And that is only the start, there’s no sign at all of the goals drying up – or his all-round form for his side, either.

City ended Leeds United’s mini-run of form on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory. Although there wasn’t too much shock about the result, the main shock was to check for the scorer and realise it wasn’t Abraham – for once!

The Robins’ next four league games (Nottingham Forest, QPR, Cardiff and Blackburn Rovers) are against team’s currently in the bottom half of the table, so positive results in that run of games could lead the club into the top-two. Stranger things have happened – after all, Huddersfield Town are still top and proving that no matter the size of your club, you can do it.

A topsy-turvy week at Derby – But light at the end of the tunnel?

Nigel Pearson: Appears to be on way out of Derby

Nigel Pearson was suspended as manager at Derby County on Tuesday, just a few hours before he was supposed to be leading his side out for their Championship encounter with Cardiff City.

Pearson’s assistant, Chris Powell, took over at short notice for the game, and managed to lead County to only their second win of the season, courtesy of goals from Tom Ince and Nick Blackman.

The former-Huddersfield Town manager has distanced himself from taking over from his close friend in Pearson permanently, but Powell will be in charge for this weekend’s game at Reading.

The Rams are as low as 20th, despite being one of the fancied teams before the season started. If Powell can find a way to get a positive result at Reading, and assuming Pearson is permanently relieved of his managerial duties, then he may be persuaded to change his mind.

The Gigg Lane boys continue to ‘Bury’ anyone who stands in their way

One of the tastiest ties across the whole of the Football League this weekend is in League One, and between two of the most un-glamorous sides – Bury and Scunthorpe United.

Bury have started the season better than any of their fans could have even begun to dream about, and currently lie second. The signing of injury prone James Vaughan has seen a return of five league goals so far, and should the gaffer, David Flitcroft, be able to keep him fit there’s no doubting that his scoring form will continue.

In Tom Pope, Vaughan has a proven strike partner at League One, which could be key to maintaining the form – if both drop off, or Vaughan’s injury record comes back to haunt him, then the Shakers could find themselves struggling to find the goals to keep themselves in the automatic spots.

The Iron travel to Gigg Lane this weekend on the back of a 4-1 win at Walsall on Tuesday night, and are the current League One leaders. The Shakers have reduced rates for home fans as they look to fill the stadium, but whether they can take down the highest scoring team in England is another matter.

Can Plymouth extend their lead at the top of League Two?

Plymouth Argyle’s play-off heartache at the hands of AFC Wimbledon has done no damage to the club’s spirits, and Argyle have actually now taken a five-point lead at the top of League Two already.

Eight wins from the last nine games, and only one loss in 10 is the reason the Pilgrims are sitting so sweetly at the top, but goal difference of just six despite the run of wins suggests a lack of cutting edge at the top end of the field.

Although the cutting edge doesn’t appear to be affecting them now, it’s something that manager Derek Homes will be looking to work on.

With Yeovil and Stevenage the two games coming up next, the likeliness of the Pilgrims extending their lead looks to be high, but League Two has already proven on so many occasions that no team can be taken for granted.

Best bets

Tammy Abraham to be the Championship top scorer – 8/1 with Sky Bet

Derby to win again for Chris Powell, but to concede in the process – 24/5 with Betfair

Both Bury and Scunthorpe will be doing everything to win the game, but I believe
a draw may be the outcome due to nerves – 11/5 with Paddy Power